Richmond candidates to face questions about the environment

One of a hundred nation-wide election debates on climate change is scheduled to take place at RC Palmer secondary on Oct. 3.

Organized by the Richmond Climate Hub and GreenSeeds Music Society, the idea of the debate is to bring the issue of climate change to the forefront of the current federal election campaign. All candidates from both Richmond ridings are being invited to take part.

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The event will be non-partisan, said Erszi Institorisz, co-captain of the Richmond Climate Hub, a new group whose mandate is to unite civil society, businesses and citizens to collaborate on climate change issues.

As of Friday, three candidates have confirmed their attendance, but organizers are still reaching out to other candidates. Joe Peschisolido, Liberal candidate for Steveston-Richmond East, Francoise Raunet, Green candidate for Richmond Centre, and Jaeden Dela Torre, NDP candidate for Steveston-Richmond East, have said they will participate.

There will be four questions that will be asked at all the debates taking place across Canada, but, locally, another question has been added about environmental rights.

It will also be possible for the public to submit questions in advance of the event by going to sli.do and using the confirmation code G441.

Institorisz said that, by bringing up climate change topics during the election, she hopes the topic stays with the candidates during and after the election.

“We want to drive de-carbonization, drive the reduction of emissions – Richmond is an island city, we’re worried about this stuff for the future,” Institorisz said.

She said she’s looking forward to hearing what the candidates have to say and what action they plan to take on environmental issues.

While Institorisz said she’s “deep in this space” of climate change discussion and action, she is encouraged to see the topic so widely discussed in the media in the context of the election, not just in her own bubble.

“The energy is good,” she said.

The Richmond 100 Debates event takes place Oct. 3, 7 to 9 p.m. at RC Palmer secondary, 8160 St. Albans Rd.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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